ATLANTA - Professor Leslie Wolf spoke at the annual conference for the Association for Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs (AAHRPP) in Washington, DC, in April.
AAHRPP is an independent, non-profit accrediting body that seeks to promote high quality research by strengthening human research protection programs. Its annual conference brings together people from government, academia, industry, and community groups interested in the mechanisms intended to protect human research subjects.
Professor Wolf was invited to discuss her empirical studies on research with stored biological materials. "It shows the development of the field," said Wolf. "The attendees have moved beyond the basics about the regulatory requirements and the AAHRPP process, and want to learn more about research that may inform their human protection programs’ response to ethical challenges in research."
Wolf’s studies suggested that Institutional Review Boards and researchers prefer to get consent for new uses of stored biological materials, even when the regulations do not require it. Based on these findings and evidence that at least some people object to some research uses of their materials, Wolf argued for greater oversight over research such materials.
"I recognize that this is somewhat controversial," Wolf commented. "But the audience response was terrific. We had a spirited discussion that I expect was replicated back at their home institution, which is what should happen."
Administrative Coordinator, Center for Law, Health & Society